December 6, 2012
Governor Patrick this week filed legislation for one percent budget reductions at non-executive branch entities, including the Judicial Branch, in parallel with overall reductions being made across the Executive Branch.
Court Administrator Harry Spence had previously communicated with Administration and Finance Secretary Gonzalez and the Ways & Means Committees to make the case that the Judiciary should be spared further budget reductions.
The Judiciary has borne a very significant share of cuts in the state budget during the past four years. The Trial Court represents nine percent of the total state employment but its staff reductions have comprised 21.5 percent of the overall reduction in staffing.
Also, reform legislation passed in 2011 gave the Judiciary a mandate to improve operations and ensure accountability. Efforts such as rebalancing staff resources, introducing performance appraisals, completing MassCourts by the end of 2013, and conducting strategic planning need to continue in order to enable the changes that will ensure efficiency and continuously improve processes.
We will continue to advocate for Judiciary funding as the Legislature deliberates on these matters.